Post-doctoral position

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Post-doctoral position

Hosting group:      "Plant adaptation to metals"
                     BPMP UMR 5004
                     IBIP AGRO-M, Pl Viala
                     34060 Montpellier cedex 1  FRANCE
Title of the project: Role of plant defensins with respect to zinc tolerance
in Arabidopsis halleri
Offer description :
Our group aims at identifying mechanisms enabling plants to grow in metal
contaminated soils and to hyper accumulate metallic ions in their foliar
tissues. Our recent studies showed the existence of a cellular component of
metal tolerance in the metal hyper accumulating species Thlaspi caerulescens
and Arabidopsis halleri (Marquès et al., 2004, New Phytol 164:289). A
functional screening of a cDNA library from A. halleri leaves in yeast
allowed us to clone several defensins that confer zinc tolerance to yeast.
Transgenic plants of Arabidopsis thaliana expressing one of these A. halleri
defensins were shown to also display increased zinc tolerance (Mirouze et
al., Plant J, in revision). These results are quite innovative since plant
defensins were up to now only known for a role in defence against fungi.
Defensins have never been suspected to be involved in metal tolerance. Our
goal is now to characterize the role of defensins in the zinc tolerance of
A. halleri at both the cellular and whole-plant levels:

-       at the cellular level, we suppose that defensin could interfere with
membrane ionic fluxes as they do during their interaction with fungi
(Thevissen et al. 2004 J Biol Chem 379:3900), or as some insect toxins
structurally very close to defensins do on some ion channels (Bloch et al.
1998 Proteins 32:334). The action of defensins on zinc (and on other
cations) trans-membrane transport will be studied on A. halleri protoplasts
and membrane vesicles in collaboration with different teams of the lab that
have a good expertise of these techniques.

-       at the whole-plant level, a RNAi approach will be conducted in order
to study the impact of reducing the defensin pool on the A. halleri zinc


Candidate profile :

Applicant should possess a Ph.D. degree in Plant Biology with prior
experience in plant biochemistry, particularly in the field of transmembrane
transport and with the cellular approaches developed in this field. A
practical experience of plant transgenic methods will be appreciated.
Ability to interact and work with different people is also critical.
Conditions : CNRS fellowship for 2 years, starting in Septembre-October
The selection procedure is open. Candidacies must be composed of at least
(i) a detailed curriculum with the names and full references of 2-3
supervisors of the applicant¹s previous research activities and (ii) a brief
summary of every previous research activity. Candidacies should be addressed
to Dr. Laurence Marquès.
Pierre Berthomieu / Laurence Marquès
(+33) (0) 4 99 61 31 58 / 31 57
[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> ;
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